No Privity? No Problem

In New York, privity is required in order to maintain a legal malpractice claim. In other words, the claim must be client v. former attorney “absent special circumstances.” But under what special circumstances would a court be inclined to find legal malpractice in a non-privity situation?  A case this past week shed some light on what one of those situations may look like.

In Deep Woods Holdings LLC v Pryor Cashman LLP, Defendant Law Firm represented a non-party individual (Buyer) in a transaction in …

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Duties of the Unintended Email Recipient

Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6(c) provides that “A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure” of client information. Generally that isn’t too difficult but things get complicated when it comes to electronic communication. Over 220 billion e-mails are delivered each day. According to reports, e-mail remains the most “pervasive form of communication in the business world.” Given the rampant use of e-mail, eventually there will be mistakes: your e-mail will land in the wrong hands or you will …

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Coverage Denied for Attorney Mixing Legal and Business Advice

Lawyers wear many hats; the key is not to wear them all simultaneously.   Many lawyers are well versed in areas outside of the law and can be a source of non-legal knowledge for clients.  However, lawyers need to be mindful when their services extend beyond the traditional landscape of legal advice.  Mixing business interests and legal advice can easily get you in hot water if the transaction goes awry.  Take for example the case of Burk & Reedy, LLP v. Am. Guarantee & Liab. Ins.

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Emotional Distress in Legal Malpractice Claims?

Emotional distress is not uncommon in malpractice cases. We have blogged before about jurisdictions that have expressly permitted the recovery of such damages, while other jurisdictions don’t have any law addressing this potential area of recovery.  In the past year a few states have addressed this issue and the decisions are worth noting.

Last year, the Washington Supreme Court issued a decision that opened the door for potential emotional distress damages in a legal malpractice action.  In Schmidt v. Coogan, the malpractice claim was …

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What E&O Means to the Real Estate Professional

Attorney or accounting malpractice makes the headlines. Certainly we’ve all heard of high profile medical malpractice cases. But the real estate professional community faces its own challenges. Real estate professionals face significant exposure to claims that may fall under E&O coverage. In particular, E&O coverage is useful when a buyer brings suit against an agent/broker for failure to disclose a property defect, for misleading the buyer about the purchase, or for breach of contract. Most commonly, E&O policies are useful for the real estate professional …

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Attorneys on the Move Leads to More Malpractice Claims

Legal malpractice claims are on the rise…again.  According to a recent study, lateral transitions by attorneys may be to blame.  Professionally Liability Matters previously discussed an uptick in malpractice claims, particularly those stemming from attorneys handling real estate matters.  However, a new survey released last week by Ames & Gough demonstrated an overall increase in legal malpractice claims and suggested that swapping firms is a main culprit.

Reportedly, the majority of major insurers surveyed reported an increase in malpractice claims in 2012.  Most stated that …

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March Madness and You: Implications

Brace yourselves, employers: March Madness is upon us. The 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will start with play-in games next week (March 19) and conclude with the Championship Game on April 8 in Atlanta. During the tournament’s three weeks, the US economy will lose an estimated $1.8 billion in productivity as employees watch early round games, participate in office pools, and discuss the outcomes with co-workers.  Make no mistake, March Madness and participation in other work-place “gambling” such as fantasy sports has real world implications …

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